Photo by drowcliffe / CC BY

Shogi board and pieces

Photo by drowcliffe / CC BY

Japan Shogi Tournament on Stage

Photo by pac930 / CC BY





OTHER NAMES: 将棋 (in Japanese)


Shogi is an ancient Japanese game that is proclaimed the game of the nation, along with the tribute of November 17th as Shogi Day. (1)



The earliest archaeology evidence of a Shogi is a group of 16 Shogi pieces found at the grounds of the five story pagoda of Kofuku-ji, which had a wooden writing plaque written on indicating the year 1058. According to Kōji Shimizu, chief researcher at the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, the names of the Heian Shogi pieces keep those of Chaturanga (general, elephant, horse, chariot and soldier), and add to them the five treasures of Buddhism (jewel, gold, silver, katsura tree, and incense). (2)



The modern Shogi was first approved by the Tokugawa shogunate Japanese Military Goverment in 1612, and tournament hosting in the castle of the Shogun began with Tokugawa Yoshimune on the November 17th of each year. In the 1990s, Shogi started to populate outside of Japan, and is well-liked by many countries in the world. (3)



Shogi is a Japanese board game that requires strategy and planning, and consist of 2 sets of tokens which includes 9 pawn, 2 lances, 2 knights, 2 silver generals, 2 gold generals, 1 bishop, 1 rook, and 1 king.  The game is setup with each player setting their pieces facing forward, with most shogi pieces move only to an adjacent square. (4)




Every single year, Shogi tournaments are still held in Japan, and is readily available in many forms of distribution. In other countries, Shogi tournaments are supported by Shogi-based clubs and organizations.

2014 European Shogi Championship

Photo by sanjuuyori / CC BY

Game box for playing Senet

Photo by ddenisen / CC BY

The origin of games is one of the oldest human civilization lineage, spanning over millenniums of development to date. From archaeological evidence traditional games is one of the fundamental aspect of life in the ancient world, and is paramount to the development of social culture and military strategies. Many of these games became modern day family fun for holidays and occasions to enjoy.

Family Playing Boardgame Together

Photo by krisnfred / CC BY



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